Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Snowman Cupcakes

These wintry snowman cupcakes are great for a festive celebration. They're easy and fun to make, perfect for beginners or anyone wanting to get the kids involved in a little baking this Christmas.

You'll need:
Butter Icing or Frosting
Palette Knife
White Sugarpaste
Black Paste Colour
Orange Paste Colour
Red Paste Colour
Large Circle Cutter (50-60mm diameter)
Edible Glue
Marzipan Knife

All of the above equipment can be brought from our cake decorating and sugarcraft online store.

Mix up some frosting or butter icing (we're using our own American Style Chocolate Frosting.) If you're making your own butter icing why not try our butter icing recipe.

Spread a thin layer of the frosting or butter icing over your cupcake with a flat blade palette knife.

Next we need to cover the cupcake in white sugarpaste for the snow of the snowman. They'll be quite a lot of sugarpaste on the cupcake so we're using Almond Art Sugarpaste which has a slightly vanilla flavour. Use a circle cutter and cut out a circle of sugarpaste approximately ½cm thick and roughly the size of your cupcake (this is generally around 50-60mm in diameter. We're using the largest circle cutter from the FMM Geometrical Cutter Set)

Place the disc of sugarpaste on top of your frosting/butter-ice and press the edges down to completely cover your cupcake. If you're using chocolate or a bright coloured frosting be careful not to get any on your cupcake top as it will easily mark. 

Colour some white sugarpaste with liquorice paste colour and roll it into a ball (about the size of a cherry.) Divide the ball into 2 pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Mould the larger piece into an oblong, roughly the width of a stamp. With the other piece roll it in to a sausage half the width and slightly longer than the other. Press the two pieces together and arch slightly to create your snowman hat.

Every snowman needs a carrot nose, take a small ball of sugarpaste coloured with tangerine paste colour (slightly larger than a pea.) Roll it in your hands until it is smooth and crack free. Using your finger roll the ball off centre, the ball will change into a teardrop, continue to roll until your left with a cone as shown above.

Mix up some red sugarpaste using christmas red paste colour for your snowman's scarf, roll thinly and cut a strip approximately ½cm wide and slightly shorter than the width of your cupcake. Now cut a second strip the same width but only about half the width of the other. Place the shorter piece at 90 degrees to the other as shown above. Add detailing to the scarf if you want.

Next your snowman needs some eyes and a mouth. Roll some small balls of black sugarpaste, you'll need 7 balls in graduated sizes. Alternatively you could pipe the eyes and mouth on using black icing.

Next you need to assemble your snowman cupcake. Using some edible glue stick the scarf onto your cupcake. Then line the hat up and glue in the position shown above (the hat should hang over the edge slightly.) Next glue the eyes, mouth and then nose onto your snowman.

If you're making lots of snowman cupcakes you could try making each one unique. Changing the number of balls used to make the mouth will alter the snowman's expression. e.g. only using 1 larger ball for the snowman's mouth will make him look like he's shocked or surprised. You could even try altering scarf colours, hat designs or even adding a sprig of holly. In fact why stop at snowmen? You could make a whole host of Christmas characters using the same ideas.

Time saving tip: You could use pre-coloured regalice instead of colouring white sugarpaste yourself.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Easy Butter Icing Recipe

A popular and well known icing that is quickly made, using half the weight of butter to icing sugar. The flavour and colour may be altered by adding different flavourings and colours.

1) Place the butter in a bowl. Using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy.

2) Stir in the icing sugar, milk and vanilla extract until evenly mixed. Then beat the icing well until light and smooth.

Flavourings: Replace the milk and vanilla extract with orange, lemon or lime juice and 2 tsp finely grated orange, lemon or lime zest. Alternatively you could add 1 tbsp of cocoa powder blended with 1 tbsp of boiling water.

Colourings: We recommend using a paste colour as it won't alter the consistency of the icing. Dust or liquid colours can be used but you may need to add more or less icing sugar to keep the same consistency.

To note: Strong or pure vanilla extract can alter the colour of your butter icing.